Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Wednesday Watch

Late-Night Headlines
- Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said the Bush administration would seek to alter a mortgage industry plan aimed at helping subprime borrowers should it fail to limit a wave of foreclosures. “We’re going to be all over this, we’re going to watch it and make changes if need be,” said Paulson.
- Japan’s government slashed its economic growth forecast after stricter rules for obtaining building permits caused housing starts to plummet to a four-decade low.
- The yen traded near a five-week low against the dollar after global stocks gained, leading investors to borrow in Japan and buy higher-yielding assets elsewhere.

- NTT DoCoMo Inc. rose the most in two weeks in Tokyo trading after a report said it’s in talks with Apple Inc.(AAPL) to sell the iPhone handset in the country.

- Give kids reason to give this holiday.
- Choppy waters not as rough as they seem. From an historic perspective, the stock market hasn’t been that volatile recently.

- Logitech(LOGI): A Pick to Click. S&P likes the PC accessory maker’s history of strong growth – and its attractively valued stock – and rates the shares strong buy.
- Inside iPod Touch. The Touch will probably set the standard for iPod iterations to come, and our teardown reveals it’s more than just an iPhone you can’t make calls on.
- New Report Cuts China Economy Down a Size. A new Asian Development Bank study suggests that China’s gross domestic product on a purchasing power parity basis is 40% smaller than previously thought.

USA Today.com:
- Sales picture sharpens for HD, the new ‘biggest thing’ in tech.

Financial Times:
- Goldman encounters hard-to-please investors.

Late Buy/Sell Recommendations

- Upgraded (NILE) to Buy, target $88.
- Upgraded (MXIM) to Buy, target $35.

Night Trading
Asian Indices are +.25% to +2.0% on average.
S&P 500 futures +.12%.
NASDAQ 100 futures +.17%.

Morning Preview
US AM Market Call
NASDAQ 100 Pre-Market Indicator/Heat Map
Pre-market Commentary
Pre-market Stock Quote/Chart
Before the Bell CNBC Video(bottom right)
Global Commentary
WSJ Intl Markets Performance
Commodity Movers
Top 25 Stories

Top 20 Business Stories
Today in IBD
In Play
Bond Ticker
Economic Preview/Calendar
Daily Stock Events
Macro Calls
Rasmussen Business/Economy Polling
CNBC Guest Schedule

Earnings of Note
Company/EPS Estimate
- (KMX)/.17
- (JOYG)/.80
- (GIS)/1.13
- (MLHR)/.59
- (NKE)/.66
- (ORCL)/.27
- (HWAY)/.29
- (SCS)/.28
- (PAYX)/.39
- (COMS)/.02
- (ACN)/.56
- (AZPN)/.10
- (MS)/-.39
- (ATU)/.48
- (CMC)/.62

Upcoming Splits
- None of note

Economic Releases
10:30 am EST

- Bloomberg consensus estimates call for a weekly crude oil drawdown of 1,500,000 barrels versus a 722,000 barrel decline the prior week. Gasoline supplies are expected to rise by 800,000 barrels versus a 1,618,000 barrel build the prior week. Distillate inventories are estimated to fall by 500,000 barrels versus an 810,000 barrel decline the prior week. Finally, Refinery Utilization is expected to rise by .25% versus a .68% decline the prior week.

Other Potential Market Movers
- The Fed’s Lacker speaking, weekly MBA Mortgage Applications report and (UST) analyst meeting could also impact trading today.

BOTTOM LINE: Asian indices are higher, boosted by technology shares and financial stocks in the region. I expect US equities to open mixed and to rally into the afternoon, finishing modestly higher. The Portfolio is 100% net long heading into the day.

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